Students rewarded for academic success

A Williams High School student collects her raffle prize during the 3+ Club event at the Colusa County Fair on Thursday.

On Thursday at the Colusa County Fair, 802 students from schools across the county were invited to participate in the 18th Annual Colusa County Office of Eduction Scholastic Appreciation Day. For the past two decades, the event – known as the 3+ Club – has rewarded students who excel in the classroom.

In exchange for maintaining a 3.0 or better grade point average with no D or F grade for the entire school year, students – sixth through 12th grade – 3+ Club students earned free admittance to the fair on Thursday. “It’s wonderful,” said Irmalle Schumacher, who has been the 3+ Club coordinator for 17 of the 18 years it has been around. “Our number of students (who have qualified) has increased over the years.”

While more than 800 students qualified, only 275 of them took advantage of the opportunity, which was made possible this year by the Gamma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, California Retired Teachers, the Colusa Lions Club, the Colusa County Fairgrounds, as well as staff and administrators from county school districts and the Colusa County Office of Education.

“There’s still a lot of kids that are not coming to take advantage of this really special deal,” Schumacher said, adding that she hoped more kids would do so in the future. “It’s a chance to recognize kids who have really worked hard all year to get good grades, and to reward them for their efforts.”

The 527 qualifying students who didn’t make it out on Thursday evening missed out on a lot more than just free admission. After registering, the 3+ Club honorees got a gift bag, which contained coupons for fair concessions and other goodies, and were invited to select a prize from the table of gifts purchased from funds donated by local businesses and community members – with values ranging from $5 to $30.

They also were entered into drawings for more valuable prizes, which went on throughout the two-hour event. This year’s raffle prizes included bicycles, an iPad, and trips to San Francisco and San Carlos (as well a $100 gas card to help the students get to their vacation destination), a Nintendo Switch, and more. Over the years, the number of prizes has grown immensely.

“It’s come such a long way,” Schumacher said. “I remember back in the first year I started doing this, I had two tables of prizes, and that was everything. This year, I had 13 tables full of items that the students got to take home.”

Former County Superintendent of Schools Kay Spurgeon said that the large number of donations is a direct result of Schumacher’s hard work: Every year, she goes from door to door to round them up.

At 7 PM, the names of ALL 3+ Club students who registered for the event were put back in the tumbler for the Grand Prize Drawing of a laptop computer.

Schumacher said the serving as the 3+ Club coordinator is rewarding for her, too.

“To see the looks on those kids faces when they win a prize – it just warms my heart. It’s just fun for me.”n

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.